NGC 4261

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NGC 4261
NGC 4261 X-ray.png
An X-ray image of NGC 4261.
Observation data (J2000 epoch)
Constellation Virgo
Right ascension 12h 19m 23.2s[1]
Declination +05° 49′ 31″[1]
Redshift 0.007465[1]
Helio radial velocity 2238 ± 7 km/s[1]
Distance 96 ± 8 Mly (29.4 ± 2.6 Mpc)[2]
Apparent magnitude (V) 11.4[1]
Type E2-3[1]
Apparent size (V) 4′.1 × 3′.6[1]
Other designations
UGC 7360,[1] PGC 39659[1]
See also: Galaxy, List of galaxies

NGC 4261 is an elliptical galaxy located behind the Virgo Cluster in the W-cloud.[3] In the Catalogue of Named Galaxies, it is called Furtiva Virginis, or the clandestine galaxy, because it is quiet in the optical spectrum, but highly active in the radio and x-ray spectra.[4]

The active galactic nucleus (AGN) contains a 400-million-solar mass supermassive black hole (SMBH)[5] with an 800-light-year-wide spiral-shaped disk of dust fueling it.[6]

The galaxy is estimated to be about 60 thousand light-years across,[7] and the jet is estimated to span about 88 thousand light-years.[8]

A Hubble Space Telescope (HST) image of the gas and dust disk in the active galactic nucleus of NGC 4261. Credit: HST/NASA/ESA.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database". Results for NGC 4261. Retrieved 2007-03-30. 
  2. ^ Jensen, Joseph B.; Tonry, John L.; Barris, Brian J.; Thompson, Rodger I.; et al. (February 2003). "Measuring Distances and Probing the Unresolved Stellar Populations of Galaxies Using Infrared Surface Brightness Fluctuations". Astrophysical Journal. 583 (2): 712–726. Bibcode:2003ApJ...583..712J. arXiv:astro-ph/0210129Freely accessible. doi:10.1086/345430. 
  3. ^ Davis, David S.; Mushotzky; Mulchaey; Worrall; et al. (1995). "Diffuse hot gas in the NGC 4261 group of galaxies". Astrophysical Journal. 444 (2): 582–589. Bibcode:1995ApJ...444..582D. doi:10.1086/175632. 
  4. ^ Bodifee, Gerard. "Catalogue of One Thousand Named Galaxies" (PDF). Retrieved 21 May 2017. 
  5. ^ "Massive Black Holes Dwell in Most Galaxies, According to Hubble Census". Hubblesite STScI-1997-01. 1997-01-13. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  6. ^ "Hubble Finds a New Black Hole – and Unexpected New Mysteries". Hubblesite STScI-1995-47. 1995-12-04. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  7. ^ "The Virgo Cluster". An Atlas of the Universe. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  8. ^ "The Giant Elliptical Galaxy NGC 4261". Astronomy 162 (Dept. Physics & Astronomy University of Tennessee). Retrieved 2010-05-02. 

External links[edit]